Rosie Boylan, Sydney hat maker, talks about Australia’s first cottage craft, the Cabbage Tree Hat.
Woven in Australia by first settlers and convicts to protect themselves from the hot Australian sun, the Cabbage Tree hat became the symbol of the ‘new chums’ of early colonial Sydney. As a milliner for stage and screen, I have been approached on many occasions to recreate the Cabbage tree hat for characters who tell stories of our early settlement history.
My research for this talk has taken me on my own historical discoveries to Sydney’s Hyde Park Barracks, The Powerhouse Museum and The State Library, along with information gleaned from the Luton Hat Museum in England and the Museum of Straw in Signa, Italy
On display will be a sample Cabbage tree hat made in the 1990’s collectively by weaver Jim Wallace and myself.
Below is the promo from the Manly Art Gallery
Goldminer, 1861 oil painting by J. Anderson, image courtesy State Library NSW
Manly Art Gallery and Museum is delighted to present a mens hat double bill: two talks on two very esoteric areas of mens’ costume: the Cabbage Tree hat and the caps of the Rugby Internationals.
Renowned hat maker Rosie Boylan will present a fascinating talk on the making and use of the Cabbage Tree hat. Woven from the fibre of the native palm Livistonia Australis, this is perhaps the most distinctive form of Australian headwear ever made. Rosie has worked for stage and screen for 30 years, most recently on Baz Lurhman’s ‘The Great Gatsby’. Rosie says hats tell the story of Sydney’s history, and the Cabbage Tree hat sits at its very beginnings.
Jim Boyce, President of the Manly Warringah and Pittwater Historical Society, will describe the history of the glorious caps awarded to Rugby Internationals for over a century. Jim, who is himself an ex-Rugby International, has amassed a collection of caps and memorabilia dating back to the 1890s, and will show fine examples of these silk velvet, metallic braided and tasselled wonders during his talk.
These two talks will take place in the surrounds of the museum’s exhibition ‘On the Beach: Gems from the Manly swimwear collection’, an extraordinary display of the history of swimwear as a tale of changing attitudes to public modesty.